Warning: Another COVID-19 Wave Could Strike the U.S.

You can get bowled over by the wave, or you can ride it. Your choice. preparing, just in case, will help you ride it.

I am concerned that a fresh wave of COVID-19 could hit the U.S. this fall and carry through the holiday season. Around the world, the COVID-19 Delta mutation is causing new lockdowns, new restrictions, and a return to masking. Evidence from countries like the UK and Israel point to the possibility that the United States will experience a surge in cases as the Delta mutation strikes not only those who are unvaccinated, but sickens some of the vaccinated as well. This could unravel much of the progress we have made fighting COVID-19, and cause significant social disruption.

If we see another wave—and I will admit that it is only a possibility—then what effect will it have on the economy and society and what can you do to prepare for it? Yes, the hype about Delta may be overblown. It may be the same old crowd the blew prior COVID-19 concerns out of proportion doing it again, as this article suggests. But my opinion is that we should prepare in any case. Even if Delta is overblown, there may still be lockdowns and restrictions, especially with Democrats in control.

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Prepper News Update, June 30

San Francisco Residents Prepare to Flee

In a recent survey, 40 percent of San Francisco residents say they plan to leave the city in the next few years because of rising crime, increased homelessness, and poor quality if life. This malaise affects many Democrat-run cities. Our only fear is, where will they go, and will they ruin it to with their liberal voting record?

More results, including survey reports that 76 percent of San Francisco residents want more police, can be found in this article.

Starlink Almost Ready to Bring Broadband to Rural Locations

Worried about how you will connect to the rest of the world from your remote bugout location or new full-time retreat? Starlink, the satellite service from Elon Musk, will be ready to go global in August. This could be the end of older, slower satellite services.

Video of the Day

OK, so this is video is over a week old, but I found it to be one of John’s best, and he puts out some great content.

Do Water Wars Loom in Our Future as Western Drought Worsens?

We’ve fought wars over oil. How much worse does the megadrought have to get before blows are exchanged over water?

As the megadrought in the western states grows worse and threatens not only farmers and crops but the water supplies of cities the house millions of people, we have to ask: Do water wars lie in our future?

Battles are fought in court as water rights, seniorage, and other terms unfamiliar to Easterners are argued and debated. Who can take how much water from what water sources often goes back a hundred or more years.

In the early 1990s, when I interviewed for a job in Las Vegas and looked at houses, the city was already worried about running out of water. Homeowners ripped out water-hungry lawns and landscaping with desert plants. 30 years later, there are more people in more houses, but less water. That’s not a winning combination.

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Prepper News Update for June 29

We’ve been including occasional prepper news updates in our articles for some time with links to articles on topics of interest. Effective today, we are breaking these out as separate posts rather than including them in our daily post.

If you come across an article you think would be of interest, use the contact us page to forward it to us. Include the headline and a URL. A brief summary is also welcome.

Venezuelans Make U.S. Border Crossing to Escape Socialism

More Venezuelans have been intercepted at the border in 2021 than in the past 14 years combined. Why are they fleeing? Because the socialist state has turned comfortable middle class doctors, engineers and school teachers into desperate, miserable hungry refugees. One recent Venezuelan refugee said it is better to wash toilets here than to be an engineer there, where she earned just $50 a month.

COVID-19 Global Cases and Deaths Likely Much Higher

Yesterday, we linked to an article the reported that the U.S. may have under-reported early COVID-19 cases by 17 million. Today, we learn that India may have under-reported COVID-19 deaths by as many as 1 million. In our coronavirus coverage, we’ve tried to always use the term “reported” when we convey cases and deaths. Now research is showing that reports in India, Africa and Latin America may be only a fraction of the true numbers. While Johns Hopkins reports 181 million cases 3.9 million deaths, the number could be closer to 500 million cases and 10 million deaths.

Survival Diary June 28: Propane Possibilities

Our all-electric house may be getting its first propane-powered appliance. That could be the foot in the door.

As I have mentioned before, our house is all electric, with no propane or natural gas. Apparently, the former owner, who built the house, did not “believe” in propane and didn’t want it in his house. This makes powering the house by solar power difficult, or at least prohibitively expensive, because running the stove and oven require so much electrical power.

Finding ourselves in need of a new cooktop, we are considering propane. Not because we want to make the house easier to power via sola—that’s an added bonus—but because we both like cooking on gas. We would place a tank outside the house and plumb a gas line into the garage and run it up through the floor of the kitchen under the stove.

The immediate benefit is that we could then cook on the stovetop if there was no electricity. Yes, I know gas appliances today require electricity, but that is easy to provide via battery power, solar power, or a so-called “solar generator.” While we can cook on the wood stove, the Coleman stove, our outdoor grill, or an actual open fire, the ability to cook on a traditional stove top during an extensive power outage would be awesome.

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What is Hyperinflation and How to Survive it

Are you prepared for runaway inflation? Is anyone? We discuss what hyperinflation looks like and tactics to survive it.

The Bank of America recently warned of “transient hyperinflation.” That sounds bad, but how bad depends on how you define hyperinflation.

The definition of hyperinflation is “inflation at a high rate,” as “uncontrollable inflation,” or “when prices raise uncontrollably,” all of which are not very precise.

What is hyperinflation? Is it double digit inflation? If so, does it start at 11 percent, or closer to 50 percent? Does 100 percent annual inflation count as hyperinflation? Or do you have to reach absurd levels of annual inflation, like 7,000 percent?

Hyperinflation appears to be like art: Economists know it when they see it. And so will you and I, because with runaway inflation, we won’t be able to afford anything.

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Double Digit Inflation Causes Pain in my Wallet

Its pretty shocking when things I bought in March and April cost more just two or three months later. Inflation is here, and its far more than 4 or 5 percent.

Maybe you haven’t been keeping track, but inflation is all around us. Here are some examples or rising prices from my life:

Bee Supplies, Up 17.5 Percent

My beehives are doing well enough that I decided I should purchase a few more deep hive boxes in case I need to split the hives in late summer or early next year. I logged into my favorite supplier’s website and found that the prices were noticeably higher than when I made my last purchase in April. Here are some examples:

  • Unassembled deep hive bodies increased 17 percent.
  • Unassembled frames increased 37 percent.
  • Foundation, which is plastic and does not use wood, was up only 3 percent.
  • Telescoping lids went up 14 percent.
  • Inner lids were up 20 percent.
  • Bottom boards were up 14 percent

Average those figures together and you get an average price increase of 17.5 percent. That’s some serious inflation in just two months.

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Many Vaccines Less Effective with Delta Variant of COVID-19

Perhaps people would take the Delta variant of COVID-19 more seriously if they called it COVID-21. Its causing another wave in much of the world.

The good news is that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. continue to drop, even as the Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain in the U.S. For those that haven’t been following the news, the COVID-19 mutation known as Delta caused the surge of cases and so much death in India and is far more transmissible. More good news is that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear to be quite effective against Delta.

The bad news is that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is marching across the world, and Chinese vaccines appear to be less effective against this mutation. Multiple countries are experiencing surges as this article reports “examples from several countries suggest that the Chinese vaccines may not be very effective at preventing the spread of the virus, particularly the new variants.”

A vaccine that is 51 percent effective is still better than no vaccine, and China vaccinated 500 million people in a single month. But that may only cut the path of COVID-19 in half. If another outbreak develops or the country increases its lockdowns and shutdowns to prevent the spread, it could exacerbate supply chain problems and cause costs to rise. Shipping delays already plague key Southern ports in China. COVID-19 could increase the backlog.

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The Chicken Coop is Complete, but the Chicks aren’t Quite Ready for Outdoor Life

We got off to a slow start back in mid-March and the weather wasn’t the most cooperative, but we’ve finally finished building the chicken coop.

The chicken coop is complete! All the doors are in place; I trimmed and screened all the windows with hardware cloth; the locks are installed; the door has tested just fine; and I built the roosts.

Now all we have to do is wait for our chickens to get at least another 10 days older.

Homemade garden gate
This garden gate is five feet wide, which gives plenty of room for a wheelbarrow or a garden tractor to get through.

I am continuing to improve the fencing as well. I have used 6-inch landscaping staples to anchor the welded wire fencing to the ground. Then I started to install the half-inch hardware cloth on the fence that goes around the coop. This is four feet high and I am installing 18 to 24-inches on the ground to keep predators from digging in and the balance above to keep small rodents out. We also installed the garden gate.

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We Know we Made the Right Decision when we Left the City

We’ve owned our Prepper Property for more than a year and lived in it full time for about six months. Talk about getting out while the getting was good!

The other evening, my wife and I went out to dinner at a local brewery and restaurant. (I say local, but it was actually about a 50-minute drive from our house.) We sat on their deck, enjoying the sunshine and cool evening air while waited for our food. There was a view of mountains in two directions. Below us, families ate outdoors at tables under blue umbrellas, a kid played with his plastic truck along the sidewalk, and a bunch of young guys drank beer and played cornhole.

The last time I ate outside in a large city, we were bothered by panhandlers who practice urban extortion and won’t leave you alone until you pay them off. There was none of that here. We have plenty of poor people in the Appalachians, but I have yet to see a pan handler or a homeless person camped out on the corner or sleeping on a bench.

Unlike dining out in the last city we lived in, we didn’t have to wait for a table or book reservations weeks ahead of time.

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